Life Narrated

To the mom in Dollar General

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Recently a friend asked if I could reprint a story that originally ran in March 2015 because she’d had so many giggles from it the first time. I hope you enjoy it the second time around as well.

I walked into the Dollar General in Whitehouse closely behind a young mom. She looked to be about twenty-five. She had a baby on her hip, about eight or nine months old, and a darling little blonde curly-haired daughter. I grinned as I watched them walk just ahead of me, remembering those days of being the young mom with several little ones myself. As I listened to the little girl talk to her mom, I couldn’t help but flash back to those days that feel like not so long ago when my own little toddlers followed me around the store, chattering about everything they saw. This little girl talked about her favorite color (yellow) and which snacks looked tasty. The baby who was seated in the shopping cart smiled at me as I rounded the corner near the trio. I glanced at the mom’s T-shirt as I walked passed and got a bit of a lump in my throat as I saw the words “I can’t get enough of TODAY.”

As I continued down the aisle, I had to stop and breathe for a second, feeling a little overwhelmed with memories and mom guilt. When my own kids were the age of this lady’s, I didn’t always enjoy the day. I tried, but those days were hard. Sometimes I was just looking forward to their bedtimes so I could breathe for five minutes before I collapsed into my own bed. To the moms of every baby, toddler and preschooler reading this, I salute you. Whether you’re at home with your children or working, you are my hero. Surviving those first few years of parenthood are hard. Some days I did good to shave both legs in one day. I teased my husband, back then, not to change the toilet paper roll because it felt like the only chore I could ever start and finish in one day. Life with a baby glued to your hip and a toddler hanging off your leg is exhausting. So seeing this mom’s T-shirt was refreshing. I started to approach her and praise her for buying it, wearing it and living it. She seemed to really be enjoying her children’s company in the store today. But I decided to just watch from afar and enjoy this sweet moment.

As I walked through the store, picking up my paper towels, toilet cleaner and other items, the voice of that sweet little curly-haired girl got quieter. I knew it was because I was getting farther from her in the store, but in my mind, there was a feeling of how quickly time passes and how quickly my own preschoolers’ voices passed from my life. I smiled and choked back tears as I got in line to check out.

That’s when it happened. The young mom passed by me to pick up one last item and I saw it. Her shirt actually read “I can’t get enough of TCBY.” I had to bite my cheek to keep from busting out laughing in the check-out line. I saved that for the car.

But it hit me. TCBY sells frozen yogurt, which is like ice cream. And you know what? I don’t know any young mamas who don’t need lots of ice cream, too, so that shirt is still pretty priceless!

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